Black First Land First (BLF) members were yesterday in Soweto to mobilise ordinary members of the ANC on the fundamental questions that are currently gripping the nation. To this end ANC members were engaged on the “One Million Signatures for Land Petition” and the “Hands Off Zuma – Economic Liberation Now!” campaign.
The former is a campaign to rally the black masses around the call to return the land to the hands of the black majority and the latter seeks to raise the consciousness of the masses around the western imperialist sponsored regime change agenda to remove President Zuma and replace him with a puppet of their choice, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Black First Land First Student Movement (BLF-SM) recognises the bold step taken by BLF to meld the theoretical position of “peace amongst blacks” with pragmatic action which acknowledges that the black masses within the ANC are our mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers who are also landless.
Our call is for a new consensus that genuinely puts blacks first and opposes all who seek to divide us. Black liberation must be prioritised!
In “BLF to engage ANC members in Orlando Stadium” dated 6 January 2017 BLF has stressed that “[w]e blacks must dialogue amongst ourselves to find common solutions to problems we didn’t create. Settler colonialism, manifested as white monopoly capitalism, remains the fundamental contradiction in our country.”
To this end, BLF-SM wishes to clarify that while the movement is inspired by the legacy of the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and its relationship with the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), decisions taken by BLF are made at the level of the highest decision making body – the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) – which includes the leadership of the student movement. The decision to go and mobilise the members of the ANC was thus directly advanced via the input of BLF-SM. To this end BLF-SM applauds BLF for leading this call.
BLF-SM wishes to further clarify that it is disingenuous of certain persons of the Fees Must Fall movement (FMF), who argue for unity beyond political affiliation, to attack BLF for its said decision instead of organising and mobilising blacks around ideological demands such as “Free Decolonised Education” and the “Return of the Land!”.
Are ANC members not landless? Is it possible to mobilise for land return and free decolonized education without engaging the masses of our people who belong to the ruling party? Is it not true that within the broader student movement we have in fact been engaging across campuses and communities regardless of political affiliation on the questions relating to black liberation?
Biko says that if we want to get the correct answers, we must ask the correct questions and the question we are posing is, how can you speak about South African politics and not speak about the ANC, which in turn has the majority of black people belonging to a political organisation and believing in it? The reality is that blacks are the revolutionary subjects of this revolution and right now they are politically concentrated in their masses in the ANC. Moreover, we all have the same objective of being free via land return. However, the question currently being posed by the ANC is not compelling the return of the Land NOW! It is instead a docile approach which says to white people, “PLEASE, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO RETURN THE LAND?”
It is the role of the political vanguard to educate the masses about their own doings concerning liberation. We teach the masses to shun the false generosity of their own emancipation.
Our fundamental questions follow from Biko’s framing of the problems which tells us that the question is not whether the masses are ready or not – the question is, should the masses be made ready or not? We must create a revolutionary possibility so that revolution does become possible! Andile Mngxitama is instructive here. He says that revolution makes the impossible, possible. Furthermore, revolution is impossible without the masses. To this end the counsel of Slavoj Žiźek is illuminating. He says that we must demand the impossible. So to say that it is impossible for the ANC and the people in it to change and to resign ourselves to that conclusion, is to deny the dynamic potential of our revolutionary legacy that teaches us to demand the impossible because the impossible is possible.
We further recognize that opportunistic elements within the ranks of FMF are using the confusion of the masses to further their own counter revolutionary agenda and interests (including securing jobs from the agents of regime change) which is linked to the regime change agenda of western imperialism in cohorts with white monopoly settler capitalism.
BLF-SM will continue to expose enemy agents and those who knowingly mislead the masses of our people. We remain committed to the liberation of black people regardless of their political affiliation.
Finally, BLF-SM acknowledges the strides that FMF has already taken to look beyond political affiliation. Going forward, we urge unwavering commitment to principled black unity in this respect. This lesson is hard, and in practice it’s harder. BLF-SM has been practicing this position in its commitment to blacks, irrespective of their political affiliation, who are pushing the black liberation struggle forward. We have been practicing this position irrespective of whether our people are located in the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and in any other organization.
BLF-SM is clear! We transcend rigid political formations but at the same time our call is for a principled black first approach that truly prioritizes the liberation of our people.
Issued by Black First Land First Student Movement
9 January 2017
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